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Christ, however, does. Therefore, I say, it is exactly what was needed : it is exactly what the true religion ought to be. It is exactly what our guilt, our danger, our miseries require: but exactly what, without it, we could not have. This, then, is a proof to us, that the Gospel is what we want. The poor, the needy, the afflicted, the sorrowful, require a refuge; and, in the Gospel, that refuge is provided and held forth to them.
2. From the words of our Saviour, that “ to the poor the Gospel is preached,” we may also infer a rebuke to them. The Gospel is preached to the poor; but how backward, often, are the poor to hear it! If wealthy persons, carried prosperously along upon the full tide of business and prosperity, sweltering in luxury, or bloated with self-importance ;—if such persons neglect the Gospel, we may not so much wonder. The day of the Lord shall hereafter be on them also; but now they know it not.-With the poor, however, the case is far different. The poor have griefs, have wants, have perplexities, which, one might suppose, would force them to come to the Gospel for comfort. The rich have their vain pleasures, pursuits, and vanities, to blind their eyes, and prevent their seeing the world as it is. They are hoodwinked as to their own misery. But it is not so with you, my poorer brethren. You are forced to look upon things as they are. The rich are walking in a vain show: gathering around them all the splendid baubles and fallacies of life; plunging into business, speculation, strife, amusement, any thing to keep out the thought of God—any thing, that they may not be forced to look into themselves, and see their own misery and guilt. But you, at times, have these things looking you so full in the face, that you are forced to see them. The rich will be forced to see things in the true light at last :on the bed of sickness--in the hour of death-at the day of judgment. But you must see them now. So that you, in neglecting the Gospel, neglect a present comfort, a present hope and consolation, even while you are forced to feel your need of it.
3. Lastly, then, let me only observe, that from our Saviour's words you may infer encouragement. If to the poor the Gospel is preached, then have the poor every encouragement to come to hear the Gospel. Some there are who do so. It is the greatest encouragement to us, it is the true seal and token that our ministry is of Christ, and I doubt not that even the poorest of those, who seek the Lord in his temple, again and again have found him a very present help in trouble.
But why should not you all be partakers of this help? It is for you especially that the Gospel came. It is for you especially that the Gospel is preached. If there be any comfort and consolation; if there be any promise; if there be any word of peace, of hope, of security in Christ Jesus, that is especially meant for the poor. To the poor is the Gospel preached. It is not said the Law is preached for them—the terrors of offended justice—the warnings of eternal death--the sentence of judgment sounding in the ears of the hard-hearted and the proud--but to the poor the Gospel speaks, and speaks in terms of invitation. For what says it? “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. And again: “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor?” Think what a distinguishing mercy, to be chosen of God! “Ye have not chosen me," saith Jesus, “but I have chosen you." Oh, how full of reproach, and yet how full of kindness, are these words. “ Ye have not chosen me,” he says. No, my brethren. Your constant absence from this place, PROVES how little there is, in your hearts, that really prefers and chooses Him. Therefore he truly says,
“ Ye have not chosen me. But at the same time, with equal truth, he adds, “I have chosen you." Yes, you, even you. He has chosen you, if you will come to him, after having received your evil things in this life, to receive your good things with him to all eternity, in the life to come, in the bosom of the Father, in glory everlasting. Have this hope, my brethren, and you will not be disappointed. Even if some of you should be disappointed, in not getting what you are now come for, how great will be your happiness, if, having come to obtain
money, you should receive eternal life. Then will you indeed have found and secured the better gift; and, though disappointed now, will rejoice hereafter; for the GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE, THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.
חמשה חומשה תורה בלשון אשכנז:
ספר לב טוב :
THE JEWS, AND JEWISH LITERATURE.
: The Five Books of the Law, in the German Tongue. Fürth. 1766.
: Sepher Lev Tov. The Book of a good Heart. Fürth. 1765. :
: The Crown of the Priesthood. Part the First of the Book of
Josippus ; in the German Tongue.-- The Crown of the Kingdom. Part the Second. Duhrenfurt. 1799.
כתר, כהונה והוא חלק ראשון מספר יוסיפון בלשון אשכנז וכתר
מלכות וחוא חלק שני:
: Almanack for the Year 5589 from the Creation of the World.
לוח של שנת חמשת אלפים תקפט לבריאת עולם:
We think it not impossible, that some of our friends, among the parochial clergy, may soon be called upon for missionary exertions, in a way that they little expect. We refer to the present state of the Jews. As long as this part of our population continues to dwell in our parishes as hitherto, without, apparently, concerning itself about us or our religion, the pastor may imagine that he has little to do with them. Though, even in this case, we think he would be deceived, and ought to feel himself bound to seek a blessing, which is so clearly promised, in the Bible, as the conversion of Israel. But if the Jew himself begin to inquire, and to shew a disposition to seek further light, we know not how the pastor will feel it possible to remain quiescent, even if so disposed. Now this is what, we expect, will begin more and more to take place. Obstacles seem to be gradually disappearing. The Jews are beginning to inquire, discuss, and examine. The circulation of religious tracts among them by Christians, has led to their circulating religious tracts among themselves. All this tends to help the discovery of truth. We shall scarcely be astonished, if, ere long, we see them inquiring as a body; or, even if not inquiring, displaying such a readiness to meet those who address them, as will amount to a call on the exertions of Christians, that must be answered.
The prospect is one, which opens before us an abundance of joyful anticipations; and calls for the discussion of many topics, on which we may be glad, hereafter, to enter at large. But we purpose to confine what we have to say at present, to two principal topics; which certainly deserve the attention of every Christian, who may at any time be led to set his hand to this work; the proper spirit, and the requisite qualifications. We have no intention to enter on either of these subjects, in detail ; but, at the same time, we have something to say upon each. These matters, it may be said, belong rather to a missionary charge than to a periodical publication. But the truth is, we want to make all our readers missionaries. There is not one of them whom we would not gladly enlist, hand, heart, and soul, in this cause; provided, that is, he is already enlisted in the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to those with whom we succeed, we hope to be of service, in setting some things in their true light which have commonly been
VOL. III.-N(), I.
misunderstood, and in removing some obstacles which are felt by many minds.
With regard to the proper spirit in dealing with the Jews, what we wish to recommend must come, a good deal, from just views of the character of the Jews themselves. On this subject we apprehend that there is a very general mistake ; whích mistake, it strikes us, is altogether on the unfavourable side. We do not mean to say that this was always so. There may have been a time, when the opposite error was general : when kindness towards Jews, who professed to be inquiring about Christianity, was carried to the extent of extravagant confidence; and when some painful disappointments were the consequence.
But the result seems to have been, that we have fallen into the opposite extreme. We view the Jews in general, with suspicion ; and any of them who may profess to be seeking the truth, with suspicion ten times augmented. We are actually haunted, with the apprehension of a design upon our pockets.- Now, if the Jews are very much bent upon profit, it ought to be remembered, that Christians have had a great share in bringing them to this. Excluded not only by their own law, but by the antipathies and feelings of those, amongst whom they dwelt, they have been driven, as their national occupation, to the pursuit of money, and the pursuit has been made a charge against them. Here however, we think, it is necessary to make a distinction. There is the love of money, and there is the love of getting money. Religion condemns both : but yet, in judging of natural character, we ought to make a difference between the two. The love of money is sordid. The love of getting money is not always so. It may be unjust, it may be selfish, it may be immoderate : but it has not always that peculiarly sordid character, which is found in the love of money itself. A man, who loves money, may exhibit more of a sordid feeling, in the pain he shews at seeing another person's money spent, in the pain he shews at seeing money go, than a person, who loves the getting of money, may shew in getting it for himself. There is often the same difference, between the person who loves money for its own sake, and the person who gets money for the pleasure of getting it, as there is between the glutton, who devours the game when it is killed, and the sportsman, who cares not to touch it, though he toils through mire and brake to pursue it. Now we make this distinction, because the love of money is what is generally charged against the Jews ; whereas the love of getting money, we conceive, is, after all, far more their national characteristic.." But the latter," exclaims one of our Gentile readers, “naturally leads to the former.” Yes; with you it has, perhaps. You have gone on scraping and scraping, till you love the dirt which you have thus accumulated. But with the Jew, on the contrary, we question whether this is always the case.
Alieni appetens, sui profusus, is far more extensively, we believe, the character of the Jew, than is generally known. We should like to take you to the synagogue, the next grand festival, and shew you the rich Jews, bidding against each other, for the honour of putting their hand upon the holy volume of the Law; which honour is continually put up to auction, but then bid for, with extraordinary munificence. Look! the wealthy
Esq. has carried off the privilege, for two hundred pounds sterling; by bidding five-and-twenty pounds above his esteemed brother of the house of Israel, -- Esq.- But look again! The victor receives the prize, but not to keep it. With friendly air and courteous self-abasement, he transfers the honour, for which he has just made himself liable, to his opponent. The end is, that both pay, and the money goes to the poor. Here then is the proof that the love of getting money is not always attended, in the case of the Jew, as it is in yours, with the love of the money itself. The Jew gets money, and in a way of his own, indeed) parts with it again freely. You get money, plead duty, and keep it.-A Jew once appearing, in a court of law, as bail for a brother Israelite, declared himself possessed of considerable property. His appearance being shabby in the extreme, his assertion was questioned. But, as he still persisted in it, and circuinstances permitted, a Gentile friend of our's was desired to go with the Jew, and see what he really had. The Jew led him to a poor looking house, in a poor looking neighbourhood ; took him up stairs; brought out a box ; and soon convinced him, that he was no pauper. They then returned by the way of the Bank; where the Jew gave sufficient proof, that he was interested, to a considerable amount, in the support of the national credit.-“ Now," said our friend, “pray tell me, if the question is a fair one”--(but he had no occasion to say that, for there is no ceremony amongst the Jews) --“ pray tell me, if the question is a fair one, why you, possessing property to so large an amount, assume such a poor exterior.”_" Willingly,” said the Jew. " The reason is, there are so many of
my poor brethren, who, if they knew that I am possessed of property, would not let me have a moment's rest, till they got it every farthing away from me.”—Now, do you find this necessary? You, that say the Jew cannot love the getting of money, without loving the money also ? Are you so tender-hearted, that you